Lionel Messi has failed to make the 30-man shortlist for the 2022 Ballon d’Or shortlist for the first time in 17 years. The award, which is championed by France Football, will climax on October 17, with the winner emerging.
Lionel Messi has been left out of the 30-man shortlist for the first time since 2005. The Argentine international has clinched the awards seven times and has always made it to the 30-man shortlist. However, the 2022 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist has seen Messi left out of the list for the first time in 17 years.
Fellow South American and Brazil international Neymar Jr have also been left out of the list. Out of the three PSG attacking trio, only Kylian Mbappe has made it to the 30-man shortlist.
Why Lionel Messi Fails To Make The 2022 Ballon d’Or Shortlist
2021-2022 football season was not the best season for Lionel Messi. The 34-year-old Argentine international saw his football career dive into a drastic decline.
Lionel Messi’s dwindling football career started when Barcelona was plunged into a financial crisis. The Catalans ran into mounting debt as the Covid 19 pandemic took a toll on the club’s finances and football generally.
After winning the Copa America with Argentina and hoping to push on his club career with Barcelona, the 34-year-old was greeted with a shocking message at Camp Nou that the club could no longer afford his wage bill. Messi accepted to take a pay cut, but the Blaugrana would have collided with La Liga Fair Play Rules if they had decided to keep Lionel Messi.
The Argentine finally left Barcelona to join the French side PSG on a free transfer in 2021. Messi had a jerky and unconvincing French Ligue 1 start in the 2021-2022 season. The seven times Ballon d’Or winner only had 6 French Ligue 1 goals and 5 Champions League goals, with 14 assists.
This has been his worst start in a football season since joining Barcelona in 2004. While trying to adapt to a new Ligue since his departure from Barcelona, it was evident that the Argentine was dripping off the pecking order. Hence, his absence from the 2022 Ballon d’Or shortlist is not a surprise.
Full list of 2022 Ballon d’Or 30-man Shortlist
Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Rafael Leao (AC Milan), Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Luis Diaz (Liverpool), Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona), Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Heung-Min Son (Tottenham), Fabinho (Liverpool), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Mike Maignan (AC Milan), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Darwin Nunez (Liverpool), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich), Sebastien Haller (Borussia Dortmund), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid)
M, Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Joao Cancelo (Manchester City), Erling Haaland (Manchester City), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
The final winner of the 2022 Ballon d’Or will be selected on October 17. Pundits have tipped Karim Benzema, whose 44 goals last season powered Real Madrid to their 4th Champions League victory, 35th La Liga title, 5th UEFA Super Cup, and 12th Spanish Super Cup, to win this year’s Ballon d’Or for the first time in his football career.